NYC Is Teaming up with Retailers to Tackle Clothing Waste

According to a recent story by Fashionista, the City of New York Department of Sanitation (DSNY), a group of local retailers, and a cohort of “textile experts” have joined forces to try to tackle the city’s untenable clothing waste problem. Or: Captain Planet, but make it fashion.

Per the DSNY, New Yorkers throw away 200 million pounds of clothing, shoes, and bags every year, a number so preposterously large that it prompted the Ellen MacArthur Foundation — a charity “dedicated to advocating for a circular economy” — to launch #WearNext this past Monday.

“The campaign centers on a searchable map of the city that marks more than 1,100 places where clothing can be dropped off for resale or recycling, from clothing stores to thrift shops to recycling centers,” the story said. Additionally, “Ads raising awareness about this resource for finding the nearest drop-off will be placed on bus stops and on LinkNYC boards across the city.”

Spearheaded by the Ellen MacArthur’s Make Fashion Circular initiative, the #WearNext program (hashtags are programs now, deal with it, we have bigger issues at hand) is “ultimately a collaborative effort between brands, city government and non-profits.”

So far, that “collaborative effort” includes retailers like Reformation, Athleta, ThredUp and (thankfully) H&M; textile researchers like I:CO and Lenzing, and city government organizations like DSNY, which is a decent start by any metric.

And though the story concedes that the program “might seem simple,” it does note that “it’s the first comprehensive map of its kind,” and that’s something.

You can read more about it at Fashionista.

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